U.S. health secretary resigns after Obamacare launch woes
Friday, April 11, 2014 - 01:41
April 11 - U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius resigns after overseeing the botched roll-out of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law. Sarah Toms reports.
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It was never going to be an easy job...overseeing the launch of President Barack Obama's controversial healthcare law.
But after a botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act, US Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has resigned.
Her departure is timely, coming as the Democrats try to keep control of the Senate in November's midterm elections.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY KATHLEEN SEBELIUS SAYING:
"Access to healthcare.gov has been a miserable frustrating experience for far too many of these Americans, it's unacceptable, I am focused on fixing it, and I am accountable."
This is the website where people could enrol for health insurance but it ran into problems last October, plagued with computer problems and leaving millions of people unable to sign up.
The 2010 law is seen as one of Obama's main domestic achievements. It's intended to extend health insurance to roughly 48 million Americans who don't get it through their employers, or privately. It also aims to slow the rising costs of healthcare
But Sebelius had her work cut out for her as the law was also unpopular with some Americans, who have seen their insurance costs rise or their old plans cancelled. Others object to having to purchase insurance at all, seeing it as government intrusion.
She was the public face of a law, which angered many US residents, who must pay a tax penalty next year if they don't have some form of health coverage.
The White House says Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the current budget director will replace her.
She'll have an easier ride than her predecessor -- after that rocky start, more than seven million people signed-up for coverage on marketplaces sites.
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